A Middle East Dish by Kai Chan

A Middle East Dish
by Kai Chan

I was inspired to read quite a few Middle East cookbooks after having amazing food on my trip to Istanbul two years ago. After a few trials I have come up with a recipe/formula of my own.
I list six groups of food items and a delicious meal could be made by combining selections from two or more of these groups.
Group One has beans like lentils, chickpeas or fava beans. Group Two has grains, such as couscous, rice or quinoa. In Group Three are vegetables; zucchini, red and green pepper or onion, for example. Group Four could be fish, chicken, lamb, pork or any kind of meat. Group Five includes nuts, dry fruit, pomegranate  seeds,  olives and herbs, dry and fresh mint leaves in particular. Lastly Group Six will have yogourt, feta or goat cheese.

When preparing the cooked food, spices like cumin, chilli or garlic could be added. The variety in each group can be very versatile. Some of the cooking could be done a day or two ahead. I have used left-overs from previous meals. I enjoy this formula very much and it is a delightful dish for dinner parties.


The Raw and the Cooked, MYTHOLOGIQUES is a new column on the culture of eating and cooking, with contributions by various authors. The column name is borrowed from the title of a book by Claude Levi-Strauss. It is spontaneous, a little amusing but serious at the same time.

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